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Blogging is fast becoming one of the most efficient methods of customer interaction. With 85% of customer/business interaction predicted to be carried out via the internet by 2020, research has shown blogging to be the 5th most trusted place for customers to obtain information, a number that is only set to rise as our internet use continues to sky rocket. There are several ways in which a blog for business can be utilised but how you set out your blog and its KPIs will depend on the end objective. These objectives will dictate the style and content of the blog and will ultimately define how successful this channel is for you as a business.

No longer used primarily for comment and discussion, blogging has become an efficient way to reach out to clients, and there are many reasons why small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should invest in a blog.

Increasing traffic to your website

One of the main benefits of communicating with your customers through blogging is that it dramatically increases the traffic to your website. Research has shown that brands and businesses using blogs see a 97% increase in site visits and obtain 67% more leads than those companies without a blog. It is a fast and efficient way of communicating with your clients, and the ease and frequency at which customers are able to communicate with your business increases your likelihood of making a sale.

Shareable content = a free advert for your business

As well as increasing traffic, blogging is an efficient way of increasing the number of customers that are able to access your content, by making it easier to share information using other social media platforms. By adding something as simple as a Twitter or Facebook widgets to your blog, you are making it easier for clients to share the information they have gained with others who may also be interested in your work. Furthermore, many blogging platforms now also have their own app, and an option to follow a specific blog can ensure customers are instantly updated when new content is added to your site.

If your blog is more on the social side you have to adapt the KPIs to help reflect this. Not all posts will provide a direct return on investment but they will give you a wider understanding of branding to help you learn the life-time value of a really engaged customer who loves to consume your content.

Maintaining pole position

Due to the number of internet users accessing websites and social media through mobile devices, users are becoming less likely to spend extended periods of time searching for the information they need, instead preferring to type a question into Google and have it answered straight away. This is one of the many ways that blogging can benefit your brand. By breaking down your posts into articles focusing on answering specific questions, you can lead your audience directly to the information they desire, further increasing the amount of traffic that flows to your website and your chances of making a sale.

Your website is a powerful sales tool but for customers to submit an enquiry or buy your products, they must trust your brand and be in the right mindset. Potential customers looking for your services or products will be at varying position of the sales funnel. Good marketing is all about capturing people in every stage and selling them the next step.

For example, someone at the beginning of the sales funnel may be in the research phase of the process and looking for more information about products or a particular service. Having a blog on your website, allows your company to reach out to this section of people and add some value by providing the information they need. Great content is king. You often get one chance to impress and valuable content will not only position you as an expert in your field but will help to create a great lasting impression. That way, when these same people are further down the sales funnel, they are more likely to keep you in the running when making their final purchasing decision. The passion and knowledge you impart through this medium will help cement your position as the go to place on the web for your customers.

Personalising your brand

It is important to showcase your services and products, but equally important to showcase the people behind a brand. Blogs are a great way for you to connect with your customer on a human level because they encourage brand interaction. Brands must work hard for customer loyalty and the most loyal customers will have a personal attachment with a brand. This can be developed through your blogging and social media efforts. Ultimately, people will do business with companies they trust and one way of earning that trust is by humanizing your brand and showing there are real people working behind the scenes. There is little room in today’s saturated market for brands that remain cold, corporate and faceless, which are guaranteed to be left behind.

Blogging has often been considered a platform more suited to film reviews and conversational topics, but more and more brands are now turning to these sites to direct information towards their clients. By creating a blog for your brand, you are adding an easy and accessible way for your customers to gain information, ensuring that your online customer interaction will rise.

By Matthew Rogers, Head of Search at Toxicfox.co.uk